Presentation on theme: "The Renaissance The Early Modern Period. Learning Objectives To observe the transformative qualities a monarch can have on the arts and culture of a time."— Presentation transcript:
Learning Objectives To observe the transformative qualities a monarch can have on the arts and culture of a time period. To understand the basic principles and influential factors behind Elizabethan literature. To study the major themes and motifs of this era.
The Renaissance Means “rebirth” In science, for example, Copernicus (1473-1543) attempted to prove that the sun rather than the earth was at the center of the planetary system, thus radically altering the cosmic world view that had dominated antiquity and the Middle Ages. In religion, Martin Luther (1483-1546) challenged and ultimately caused the division of one of the major institutions that had united Europe throughout the Middle Ages--the Church. Renaissance thinkers often thought of themselves as ushering in the modern age, as distinct from the ancient and medieval eras. Hence the often used title as the “Early Modern” period.
The Renaissance…of Poetry A reintroduction and revival of texts and languages from the classical period. Romantic Dialogue – clever/witty/entendre– Rhetorically savvy/beautiful language POETRY! Sonnets fit this perfectly… and they are all the rage in the 1580s. This is the time the literature of the period really takes off… why? English poets generally imitate sonnets of Petrarch until Shakespeare makes fun of them all later on.
The Renaissance… of Theater During the reign of Henry VIII, Commedia dell’ arte (traveling troops of actors with a repertoire) is popular in Italy… he wants that for England. Earls begin supporting groups of actors – 20+ men – Traveling troop – Linked to a great house – Wears the Earl’s colors – Geared towards lower classes 1576 James Burbage opens The Theatre – now not restricted by church or Earl’s tastes
The theatre determined the type of play: literary, trashy, or plays by certain playwrights. Actors learned only their own lines Performed on a thrust stage – no proscenium arch. Plays only performed twice, one week to remember lines and rehearse. Playhouses outside the city walls—not a “respectable” establishment Many playwrights are Cambridge or Oxford graduates who didn’t want to take religious orders… over-educated + unemployed = bitter The Renaissance… of Theater
The Tudors Henry VIIElizabeth York Arthur Mary* Margaret* Henry VIII Catherine of Aragon Anne Boleyn Jane Seymour Anne of ClevesKathryn HowardKatherine Parr Mary IElizabeth IEdward VI Henry VII (1485-1509) Henry VIII (1509-1547) Edward VI (1547-1553) Lady Jane Grey (9 days) Mary I (1553-1558) Elizabeth I (1558-1609) Philip II of Spain Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots Tried to claim throne through Her mother, Margaret*. Her son James takes over after Elizabeth. Jane Grey Tried to claim throne through Her grandmother, Mary*.
Henry’s Wives Henry married his late brother’s (Arthur) wife, Catherine, when he ascended to the throne. When Catherine produced no male heirs, Henry began looking elsewhere… mainly at her ladies-in-waiting. Henry wanted Anne Boleyn, but needed to divorce Catherine, first. When Rome refused to grant him an annulment, he declared himself head of England’s church and granted himself the annulment instead. Henry remained mostly Catholic in his beliefs and practices, despite the change in church. However, he took out his frustration with the Catholic church by destroying many of England’s cathedrals and monasteries.
Sir Thomas More (1478-1553) Counselor and Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII Opponent of Protestant Reformation Humanist – creating an educated public, emancipating the individual, intellectual freedom. Most famous for his fictional satire Utopia (1516). Perfect world where there is no private property, no pre-marital sex, and courtship takes place in the nude! Ironic that the non-Christian commonwealth had attained a greater degree of peace and order than his own England had. Executed by Henry VIII for treason: he refused to proclaim Henry as head of England’s church. Beatified in the 1800s.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) The Baconian or Scientific method A set of procedures for examining the natural world. The “father” of empiricism. One of the dimly possible “Shakespeare” writers.
Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542) Lyric poet who introduced the sonnet form to England by translating some of Petrarch’s sonnets into English. Unlike Petrarch, who idealizes love as transforming, Wyatt stresses the anguish and disillusionment of love. The speaker in some of the poems is bitter, cynical, angry, longing and pained. Briefly enamored of Anne Boleyn, but Henry VIII distanced Wyatt from her by sending him to Italy.
Mary I (Bloody Mary) Snatched the crown from Lady Jane Grey and had both her and her husband executed, despite the fact that Edward VI had named Grey as his heir. A strict Catholic, she marries King Philip II of Spain. A very unpopular choice. Mary was notoriously intolerant of Protestants and had over 300 them burned at the stake for heresy. Died at age 42 – possibly of a tumor which may have produced signs of pregnancy.
Princess Elizabeth Elizabeth was classically trained and highly educated along with her brother, Edward: six languages, grammar, theology, history, rhetoric, logic, philosophy, arithmetic, logic, literature, geometry, religious studies, and music. She also learned the skills of a noble lady of her rank: sewing, embroidery, dancing, music, archery, riding and hunting Mary locked her in the Tower during her reign because she feared Elizabeth might rise against her.
Queen Elizabeth I Ascended to the throne in 1558 after the death of her sister, Mary. She ruled until her death in 1603. A moderate ruler (more so than her father or sister had been). “Video et taceo”: I see, and say nothing. Protestant, but she was famous for her tolerance of Catholicism (as long as people weren’t too blatant about it and attended Anglican church on Sundays). Rome hated her anyway and excommunicated her and any who followed her rule.
Elizabeth the Lover… After Mary’s court of fear, Elizabeth implements a court of love. Courtly love… politicians must court her, not petition her. Poetry, music, chivalry, etc. She put herself into the role of the unattainable lover Her poetry is a weapon, deliberately “leaked” in order to make her appear human and emotional after unpopular political decisions. Elizabeth entertains several heads of state with the possibility of marriage… the closest she gets is the Duke of Anjou of France in 1581. “On Monsieur’s Departure”
Elizabeth, Virgin Queen After a shaky recovery from small pox in 1562, the Queen’s former beauty is ruined. Parliament and her privy counsel begin to make their strongest arguments for her to marry and produce and heir. It is at this point that Elizabeth begins to wear the heavy white makeup, elaborate wigs, and highly stylized costumes she’s known for in most of her portraits. Artists and playwrights begin to follow along with her fashioning of herself as a virgin goddess.
Mary Queen of Scots In 1571 the Ridolfi Plot is uncovered. Mary Queen of Scots has been trying to take Elizabeth’s throne on the grounds that she is Henry VIII’s niece (and a Catholic). Elizabeth delays taking action, though Mary has been proven guilty. Advisors urge action. Highly controversial since Mary is a queen in her own right (Scotland and France).
Elizabeth the Warrior Goddess… Spanish Armada 1588 –Philip II of Spain amassed 151 ships to sail against England and depose Elizabeth, whom he felt was ruling illegitimately (and who was helping the Protestant Dutch revolt against their Catholic Spanish enemies) Elizabeth addresses the troops amassed at Tilbury who are to meet the fleet when it hit shore – they had little chance of success. Luckily a storm knocks out most of the fleet and England is saved! England becomes a world power, becomes fascinated with itself – many history plays are written to glorify its past. Her victory dress…
Sir Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) As an aspiring poet, Spenser penned The Faerie Queene in honor of Queen Elizabeth, but he fell out of favor with her when he severely criticized one of her trusted advisors. Wrote Amoretti (1595) for his future wife, Elizabeth Boyle. It is a sonnet sequence of 89 sonnets that tell the story of a love relationship in which the couple move toward marriage. Wrote Epithalamion for his wife after their marriage. 365 line poem, one line for each day of the year.
The Faerie Queene (1596) A LONG narrative poem/allegorical epic in six books. (one of the longest in English) Spenser planned to write 24 books, one for each of the "twelve private moral virtues“ and 12 “public virtues” which King Arthur represents. In each book, a different hero represents one of these moral virtues. Book 1 is Redcrosse Knight: Holiness. Gloriana = Queen Elizabeth. Arthur is always searching for her – what better consort for Queen Elizabeth but King Arthur?
The Faerie Queene (1596) Spenser deliberately uses archaic language as he attempts to create a mythology surrounding Queen Elizabeth and the ideals of her court. Each book contains Lines 1-8 in each stanza are iambic pentameter, and 9 is iambic hexameter (alexandrine); ababbcbcc. This form is called a Spenserian stanza.
Book One Characters Redcross = Holiness… a knight trying to do the right thing. Is actually the character of St. George, patron saint of England. Una = the True Church (Protestantism). Accompanies Redcrosse on his quest to save her kingdom from a dragon. Errour = a book vomiting monster/snake woman Duessa/Fidessa = the False Church (Catholicism) Tries to seduce and destroy Redcrosse. Gloriana = the Faerie Queene… really a representation of Queen Elizabeth Arthur = of Arthurian legend. Has fallen in love with the Faerie Queene and seeks her out. Sansfoy, Sansjoy, Sansloy = three evil knights (faithless, Joyless, Lawless)
Sir Philip Sydney 1554-1586 Poet, courtier, soldier, Protestant Works to know: his Astrophil and Stella sonnets written to Penelope Devereux Defense of Prosey
"The lawyer saith what men have determined; the historian what men have done. The grammarian speaketh only of the rules of speech; and the rhetorician and logician, considering what in nature will soonest persuade, thereon give artificial rules... Only the poet, disdaining to be tied to any such subjection, lifted up with the vigor of his own invention, doth grow in effect another nature, in making things either better than nature bringeth forth, or, quite anew, forms such as never were in nature, as the Heroes, Demigods, Cyclops, Chimeras, Furies, and such like: so as he goeth hand in hand with nature, not enclosed within the narrow warrant of her gifts, but freely ranging only within the zodiac of his own wit. Nature never set forth the earth in so rich tapestry as divers poets have done... Her world is brazen, the poets only deliver a golden" (956-7). "The poet he nothing affirms, and therefore never lieth. For, as I take it, to lie is to affirm that to be true which is false. So as the other artists, and especially the historian, affirming many things, can, in the cloudy knowledge of mankind, hardly escape from many lies. But the poet (as I said before) never affirmeth. [... so wise readers of poetry] will never give the lie to things not affirmatively but allegorically and figuratively written" (968).
William Shakespeare You’ve got this already, right? But maybe you should read his longer poems, like The Rape of Lucrece or a history play, like Richard II.
Vocabulary to Know… Difference between the Italian (Petrarchan), English (Spensarian), and Shakespearean sonnet types. Octave, sestet, turn (volta), problem, solution Blazon Allegory Pastoral Body Politic vs. natural body